Spam volume increased 16 percent between the first and second quarter of 2010, according to Google, which tracks 3 billion e-mail messages per day with its Postini e-mail security and archiving services. But spam levels have declined year-over-year, dropping 15 percent between Q2 2009 and Q2 2010.
There's a much different story on the virus front. Virus traffic in Q2 2010 was more than two and a half times greater than it was in the second quarter of last year, but has remained steady since the first quarter of 2010, increasing only 3%.
"Spam and virus volumes this year have continued their upward trend," Google says. "These trends tell us that the spammers are still extremely active, and their botnets produce high levels of spam and virus traffic."
There's also been a rise in "friend-in-need" phishing attempts, in which a hacker breaks into someone's e-mail account and hand types a message to the victim's contacts asking for money. Google has released "several updated filters" to combat these new waves of spam.